5 Popular Causes for Household Leaks

A household leak can be a major inconvenience to your life—and to your home. Some leaks can be fixed quickly and easily before they become a major problem, while others are more serious and result in extensive property damage. Bad leaks can hurt your property value, result in mold that could have disastrous consequences on your health, and compromise the safety and structural integrity of your home. Not to mention the impact it has on your water bill and the environment! And believe it or not, there are plenty of opportunities for leaks to occur around the house. Knowing where to spot them allows you to take a preventative approach to potentially bad leaking situation. Here are five popular causes for household leaks:

Toilet Leak

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) found that toilets are responsible for 27% of a household’s daily water usage. As such, a toilet leak can be a major inconvenience. Your household uses the toilet often, and it needs to be in the best condition possible. A leak can occur at several points in a toilet, including the water supply or tank. The most damaging leaks come from the flange and wax ring, which sit just below the tank and are out of your field of vision.

“In many cases, silent leaks occur before the issue becomes serious,” says Nick’s Plumbing & Sewer, a Houston plumbing services company. “You can purchase an inexpensive toilet tablet to check for early signs of leakage, and you should routinely check your pipes for signs of mold or mildew.”

Refrigerator

Believe it or not, your refrigerator can be a hassle for water leaks. If you have a water dispenser or ice maker, you’re even more susceptible to pesky leaks. Leaks can occur when condensation isn’t able to make its way to the drainage hole (this can happen when the fridge isn’t level). The drain hole could also be clogged with various food particles, making it impossible for water to get out.

In some cases, you can fix your refrigerator leaks yourself, so long as the damage isn’t too bad and isn’t reoccuring. For instance, many people don’t realize there’s a drain and drip pan at the very bottom of the machine, and you can dump out accrued water from here. Be sure to unplug your fridge whenever you’re working on it, and if you find the same issue happening again and again, you’ll have to talk to a plumber and/or electrician. They’ll be able to let you know at what cost it can be fixed, or whether you need a new one.

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Washing Machine Leak

Washing machines process a lot of water. Newer washing machines use 15 to 30 gallons of water per load, while older models use between 29 to 45 gallons per load. Where your leaks come from depend on whether you have a front or top load washer, however, both pose their own water risks. Clogs can easily occur if there’s an excess amount of suds. If the washer is overloaded, or if you interfere with the rinsing system while in motion, you could inadvertently create a leak. Always be mindful of how much clothes and soap you’re using.

Gutter Leaks

Gutter leaks can cause serious foundation issues. There are several reasons why your gutters might not be performing up to expectations. This is common with aging gutters whose sealant starts to deteriorate and screws loosen up, creating holes for leaks. Gutters that haven’t been installed properly or that have started to sag over time could also result in water pools along the spout. In this case, the gutter would start to corrode and create rust, which will ultimately result in a leak. And of course, clogged gutters could also be the culprit of nasty leakage. Check your gutters regularly to prevent this, and keep trees around the area trimmed.

Shower Leak

Shower leaks can be notoriously difficult to catch because the area is surrounded by tiles. There are several signs of a water leak in a shower. For example, if you notice that tiles are lifting, it could mean there’s water damage occurring behind it. Low water pressure is another sign of a potential water leak.

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